Top seed Kasatkina stunned by Zheng in Abu Dhabi as Bencic cruises into semi-finals

By Sports Desk February 10, 2023

Top seed Daria Kasatkina succumbed to a surprise quarter-final exit against Zheng Qinwen at the Abu Dhabi Open as Belinda Bencic marched into the final four.

Kasatkina was blown away in just 78 minutes by Zheng, who only dropped three games in her 6-1 6-2 upset of the world number eight.

Zheng, who defeated world number 12 Jelena Ostapenko on Wednesday, executed her serve-and-volley approach expertly throughout, with the 20-year-old claiming the third top-10 victory of her career to reach her third tour-level semi-final.

Another Russian player stands between Zheng and a place in the final after eighth seed Liudmila Samsonova dispatched compatriot Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 6-3.

Bencic found form after edging a tough first set against qualifier Shelby Rodgers, who saw her run ended by a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 defeat.

Second seed Bencic will face Beatriz Haddad Maia in the semi-finals after the Brazilian railed to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6 6-3 6-2 less than 24 hours after beating Yulia Putintseva in a marathon three-hour encounter.

Meanwhile, top seed Maria Sakkari secured her progress to the last four at the Linz Open with a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) straight sets win over Donna Vekic.

The Greek will face off with Petra Martic next, while Anastasia Potapova faces the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in the other semi-final.

Related items

  • Murray knocked out of Geneva Open as Hanfmann books Djokovic clash Murray knocked out of Geneva Open as Hanfmann books Djokovic clash

    Andy Murray was denied a meeting with Novak Djokovic at the Geneva Open as Yannick Hanfmann completed a 7-5 6-2 win over the Scot on Tuesday.

    Murray's first-round clash with Hanfmann was suspended due to rain on Monday, with the three-time grand slam champion 7-5 4-1 down.

    He had earlier fumed at umpire Greg Allensworth as pollen rained down on the court in Switzerland, questioning why play had not been stopped.

    The rain may have frustrated Hanfmann's victory pursuit on Monday, but it only provided a temporary reprieve for Murray as the players returned to complete the match the next day.

    Hanfmann held his nerve through his final two service games to book a meeting with Djokovic for Wednesday.  

    In Tuesday's other early match, four-time grand slam quarter-finalist David Goffin was beaten in straight sets by Nicolas Moreno De Alboran.

    The likes of Denis Shapovalov and Tallon Griekspoor are also in action in Switzerland on Tuesday, with Taylor Fritz and Casper Ruud joining Djokovic in entering for the second round on Wednesday.

  • Murray fumes at umpire amid severe weather at Geneva Open Murray fumes at umpire amid severe weather at Geneva Open

    Andy Murray fumed at the umpire as inclement weather forced his Geneva Open tie with Yannick Hanfmann to be suspended.

    Murray's meeting with Hanfmann was postponed with the Scot a set and a double break down, with his German opponent in control at 7-5 4-1.

    Former world number one Murray was furious with umpire Greg Allensworth as the weather closed in.

    "I know you guys don't play but it'd be good to have a bit of a feel for what's happening," said Murray during a break in play.

    "You're fine for us to play when there's s*** flying around?

    "It's like it's snowing out here and you still want us to keep going."

    Allensworth eventually sent the players into the dressing rooms.

    Murray is aiming to use the Geneva Open to prepare for what is set to be his first French Open appearance since 2020.

    A tie with Novak Djokovic is on the cards if Murray can turn things around on Tuesday, though it looks incredibly unlikely.

  • Zverev sees off Jarry to claim second Italian Open crown Zverev sees off Jarry to claim second Italian Open crown

    Alexander Zverev claimed his second Italian Open title following a 6-4 7-5 victory over Nicolas Jarry in the final.

    The German, who also triumphed in Rome seven years ago, captured his first silverware of the season - and sixth of his career in an ATP Masters event.

    Having dropped just a single set on the way to his 11th Masters final, Zverev continued his impressive form by winning 95 per cent of his first-serve points (37 out of 39) and committing just eight unforced errors.

    Jarry had enjoyed an impressive fortnight in Rome, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Tommy Paul on the way to becoming the first Masters finalist from Chile since Fernando Gonzalez (also at the Italian Open) in 2007.

    However, just two break points were enough to deny the 21st seed a fourth career ATP title, with Zverev eventually converting his fourth championship point to ensure a return to the winner's circle.

    Data debrief

    Zverev joins Rafael Nadal (10) and Novak Djokovic (six) as one of only three players since 2000 to win the Italian Open on multiple occasions.

    Landing his second crown in Rome seven years after his first, it marks the longest gap in seasons between two men's singles titles at the event in the Open Era.

    Meanwhile, Zverev became the most successful German male in ATP Masters events since the format's introduction in 1990, with his sixth such success seeing him eclipse Boris Becker's total of five.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.